Comics Review: Multiple ‘The Next Batman’ Titles

 

The future of Gotham City is here and it’s a doozy. The City is now under the control of the magistrate. It’s officially a police state with vigilantes, criminals, and citizens alike under its thumb. Gotham has a new Batman while the Arkham Knight crusades the streets and The Outsiders do their best to save the citizens. These three stories meld together to paint a picture of Gotham’s Future state.

 

The Next Batman

Written by John Ridley Art by Nick Derington

 

This story opens with Batman being Gotham’s nighttime guardian and catching and saving the life of a rapist.  Out the gate, we’re clear that whomever this batman is, he saves people, even the worst. We then transition to the Fox family and establish a very strained relationship. The mother is siding with the cities oppressors, the sister is in a coma, and finally the brothers Luke and Tim/Jace Fox.

 

The story does take its moments to establish the mystery of who batman is between the brothers. Sadly this mystery falls flat when you consider the fact that the identity was revealed prior to release. This was a huge mistake and actually ruins this aspect of the story. So out the gate, an interesting story element falls flat. Thankfully, When the story focuses on batman it picks up and is reengaging. Similar to how there is a Joker gang in Batman Beyond there is a Bane gang in the city batman engages with and when this happens we see a great depiction of batman once again. Alongside this, we also learn of police corruption. Nothing new for Gotham. If only the prior story element was spoiled it would be great.

 

 

The Outsiders

Written by Brandon Thomas Art by Sumit Kumar

 

The Outsiders takes us outside (ha get it?) the city and we begin to see what’s happening on the fringes of Gotham. The outsiders now seemingly consist of The Signal and Katana. Smuggling people out of the city and to safety. Katana is still as deadly as ever and The signal still fighting for people. This is all action though and as such the main focus is on Katana as she finds answers for the magistrate’s presence outside the city. There are amazing fights in this which is good because plot-wise; bare bones. The action is so good though it’s unnoticed. Sumit Kumar kills it!

 

Katana proves to be her name’s sake as slices her way through a magistrate facility in a beautiful 2-page spread with a dynamic execution.  It culminates in a confrontation with former Outsider Kaliber, alive again and cybernetically upgraded. The story ends with the return of black lightning to deliver a cliffhanger. They’ve been compromised.

 

 

Arkham Knights

Written by Paul Jenkins Art by Jack Herbert

What is undoubtedly the most well-rounded story is the last in Arkham nights. The story follows Astrid Arkham as the Arkham Knight as she fights the magistrate forces in the streets, taking the war to them. Jack Herbet’s is good, but when combined with the coloring of Gabe Elates it really brings each page to life. As much as the story is about Astrid taking the fight to the magistrate it is also about her efforts in rehabilitating the former Arkham inmates through the fight. Solidifying her stance to see the city is that she’s taken up residence in Wayne manor. It’s very symbolic of carrying on bruces efforts to save the city.

 

 

Final Verdict

While not the strongest title in the Future State slate. This is worth a read for the bombastic action alone. 

Micha Sivad

Micha Sivad is a self-proclaimed DC fanboy and geek, but with a soft spot for the whole of comics. He grew up on the east coast in D.C. and has been visiting the same LCS since getting into the medium at the age of 14. When not hatching his own fan theories on the Venture Bros and reading the latest releases, he's writing new joke material as a stand-up comic. Follow him on Twitter @michasivad.

JUST KEEPING THE LIGHTS ON